Why did the media play naive?

sheep

From an earlier post seven days ago,

A lot of ink and broadcast bandwidth has been dedicated to 31,000 “complaints” filed with Elections Canada regarding the so-called Robocall Scandal. The opposition is trying to construct a media narrative of a broad orchestrated conspiracy. Elections Canada instead reports that 31,000 “contacts” have been reported. What’s the difference, you ask?

Well, let’s take a look at leadnow.ca’s petition. The second addressed recipient of the petition is William H. Corbett, Commissioner of Elections Canada. Today, Leadnow’s petition boasts 39,677. No small feat however, this petition was likely emailed out to leadnow’s list which has been built off of previous petitions (and campaigns). A signature petition to demand a public inquiry does not a specific complaint of voter suppression make. Indeed, for those looking for the truth in the matter, flooding Elections Canada’s inbox only makes it more difficult to find the needles of legitimate complaints (if they exist) in the ever-growing spamstack. Troubling has been the media’s tone and volume on these contacts as they are seemingly equating lazily clicking a mouse and joining (re-joining) leadnow’s mailing list with the effective filing of a police report.

And today we learn what we already knew,

Online form letters behind ‘majority’ of 31,000 robo-call complaints

Elections Canada says the bulk of the 31,000 messages it’s received from Canadians concerning fraudulent robo-calls in the 2011 ballot were merely form letters.

“The majority of those contacts were made via automated forms or online form letters,” agency spokesman John Enright said Monday.

Form letters such as those generated by activist website Leadnow.ca – which encourages Canadians to submit them – do not spell out an allegation about specific robo-calls but merely raise concern about the subject.

  • Claudia Lemire

    I don’t think naive is the right word, they have been very unprofessional with this. This disservice affects us all. And then we wonder why there is such a voter apathy, misslead and manipulating the content.

  • http://twitter.com/mooseandskwerl Natasha

     I agree with you, Claudia. Naive isn’t the right word, and I believe it goes beyond explaining it away as unprofessional behaviour. This amounts to journalistic malpractice for nothing less than manufacturing a scandal where there was none (or, at the most, localized to a single riding). They did not do their journalistic due-diligence and verify. Also they repeatedly referred to these “contacts” as actual “complaints”. Elections Canada has some culpability, though, as they sat on all these for several days before actually saying that most are the result of petition form letters.

  • Bec

    What bugs me is the laziness of the OPPS on this outrageous abuse of our systems. Instead of researching the reason this happened so quickly, asking the basement dwellers to chill and not overreact with childish crud, the interim leader of the LPoC demands more help for EC?

    What hypocrisy!

  • Bec

    Indeed Claudia…..they are exhausting us all!

  • Anonymous

    There’s more going on than “Pierre Poutine” and one riding in Guelph.

    You’ve stated what you think should happen if M. Poutine is revealed as a Liberal. What do you think should happen if Pierre is linked to the CPC? And what about the other reported ridings – including Thunder Bay, Etobicoke Center, Nipissing?

    How about the protracted, in-Canada involvement of Front Porch Strategies, a right-wing US voter contact firm? Of course only rascally Liberals use US robocall suppliers. Sorry I mean the CPC just used them for townhalls. Umm, can we have a do-over?

    btw, we already KNOW the CPC broke ethics with their calls in Cotler’s riding. What should happen there?

  • Anonymous

    There’s more going on than “Pierre Poutine” and one riding in Guelph.

    You’ve stated what you think should happen if M. Poutine is revealed as a Liberal. What do you think should happen if Pierre is linked to the CPC? And what about the other reported ridings – including Thunder Bay, Etobicoke Center, Nipissing?

    How about the protracted, in-Canada involvement of Front Porch Strategies, a right-wing US voter contact firm? Of course only rascally Liberals use US robocall suppliers. Sorry I mean the CPC just used them for townhalls. Umm, can we have a do-over?

    btw, we already KNOW the CPC broke ethics with their calls in Cotler’s riding. What should happen there?

  • Brett

     Spin Spin Spin Spin…  it is really tiresome you know.

  • Brett

     Exactly.  Lead Now had that online petition up pretty fast and Pat Martin was spinning with way too much info, particularly the one he gave to David Akin on SNN.  He was trying to connect an awful lot of dots trying to pin this on the Tories.

  • Anonymous

    Spin? 100% agree. The CPC has had to change their tune 4 times and counting. Regular disc-jockeys they are. That must be very tiring.

  • Brett

    Nice try I would call you obtuse, but that wouldn’t be very nice.  I find it quite tiresome watching you and your ilk turn your self inside out trying to spin this. 

    There isn’t an ounce of evidence to back up your claim so you would be wise to sit back until some real court worthy evidence is unearthed.

    You know, it it is unfortunate that parliament and the MSM’s representation of parliament has been reduced to the over the top antics of Question Period.  And before you try and say it is Harper’s fault this started before by your vacant shell of a party when they were in opposition.  Remember the Rat Pack as they were dubbed?

    Instead of drumming up a new scandal to magically deliver them from the opposition benches, perhaps you and your beloved Liberals can figure out what you actually stand for and articulate a clear and coherent policy and run on it.  If it weren’t for the Media carrying the can these past few years, the Liberal party would have been dead and buried after Adscam.

  • Brett

     Stephen.  This was in reply to Kenn2′s reply to me.  If I could delete and re-post I would

  • Gabby in QC

    What a card you are, Kenn2! You link to a blogger linking to other “progressive” blogs as definitive evidence. Hilarious.

    I prefer this kind of evidence:
    Evidence of a gracious loserhttp://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=may1411&dir=pre&lang=e “Elections Canada Announces Results of Judicial Recount in the
Electoral District of Montmagny–L’Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-LoupOTTAWA, Saturday, May 14, 2011 – The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, announced today that François Lapointe, the candidate of the New Democratic Party, has been declared elected in the electoral district of Montmagny–L’Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup (Québec), following a judicial recount completed on May 13, 2011 by Mr. Justice Gilles Blanchet of the Québec Superior Court.”Evidence of a poor loserhttp://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=may1711b&dir=pre&lang=e “Elections Canada Announces Results of Judicial Recount
in the Electoral District of Nipissing–TimiskamingOTTAWA, Tuesday, May 17, 2011 – The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, announced today that Jay Aspin, the candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada, has been declared elected in the electoral district of Nipissing–Timiskaming (Ontario), following a judicial recount completed on May 17, 2011, by Mr. Justice Paul U. Rivard of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.”Evidence of a poor loserhttp://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&document=may2311&dir=pre&lang=e “Elections Canada Announces Results of Judicial Recount
in the Electoral District of Etobicoke CentreOTTAWA, Monday, May 23, 2011 – The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, announced today that Ted Opitz, the candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada, has been declared elected in the electoral district of Etobicoke Centre (Ontario), following a judicial recount completed on May 22, 2011, by Madame Justice Susan G. Himel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.”Thunder Bay?Some baying at the moon, perhaps.

  • Gabby in QC

    This format is very unhelpful & temperamental. Sometimes it allows for paragraphs like I’ve composed in my comment, sometimes not.

  • Gabby in QC

    As for your “the CPC broke ethics” here’s the full transcript of the call Mr. Cotler and his sympathizers keep whining about:
    “Some people are suggesting that the current MP may retire, so we’re calling on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada to ask you if you would consider supporting the Conservative Party of Canada if there is a by-election.” H/T David Akin blog.

    Unlike a caller working for Frank Valeriote in Guelph who used an assumed name and did not specify on whose behalf she was calling, the caller to Mr. Cotler’s riding clearly identified for which party she was calling. Also, as I pointed out in another thread, there is a difference between saying that the current MP may retire instead of is retiring, as reported by Mr. Cotler and the media.

    OK, so the Speaker described the call as “reprehensible”. The Conservatives accepted the Speaker’s depiction and moved on, unlike the perennially offended other parties.

  • Liz J

    Why? Naivety fits their rampant anti-Conservative  agenda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514816127 Daniel Dickin

    Who’s changed their tune?  Clearly the Opposition.  The Conservatives have stayed the line the whole time: if you have evidence, give it to Elections Canada and let them conduct their investigation.  It’s as simple as that.  Although it was certainly hilarious to see that now we know the Liberals and NDP – the original complainers – are more guilty of breaking election laws than the governing Tories.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000514816127 Daniel Dickin

    I said two weeks ago that these Opposition claims were a non-existant house of cards with theories piled on B.S. piled on fabricated lies.  It’s just a shame that the NSM ( non-Sun media, which I prefer to the MSM ;) ) dragged so many peoples’ names through the mud without any evidence at all. http://www.danieldickin.ca/2012/02/smoking-gun-that-never-was.htmlI also noticed yesterday that NDP MP Charlie Angus switched from complaining about “voter fraud” to complaining about “voter harassment.”  The change is small, but the switch from a loaded term to a subjective standard is amazingly important. Who knew Prime Minister Harper’s simple challenge of “hey, do you have EVIDENCE?” would be so compelling to reduce this scandal to nothing within a matter of weeks.

    How about the media get back to reporting on things that matter, like the upcoming budget?

  • Anonymous

    OK, so the Speaker described the call as “reprehensible”.The Conservatives accepted the Speaker’s depiction and moved on

    You apparently haven’t. Nor do you see it as part of a pattern.

  • Anonymous

     What a card you are, Kenn2! You link to a blogger linking to other “progressive” blogs as definitive evidence. Hilarious.

    Laugh away. But first, can you counter the evidence they presented? Especially in light of the CPC slamming a Liberal for using a US  supplier. Hypocrites.

  • Anonymous

     What a card you are, Kenn2! You link to a blogger linking to other “progressive” blogs as definitive evidence. Hilarious.

    Laugh away. But first, can you counter the evidence they presented? Especially in light of the CPC slamming a Liberal for using a US  supplier. Hypocrites.

  • Anonymous

      if you have
    evidence, give it to Elections Canada and let them conduct their
    investigation. 

    I said two weeks ago that these Opposition claims were a non-existant
    house of cards with theories piled on B.S. piled on fabricated lies. 

    Well, which is it?  If there’s no evidence (cos you’re an ostrich), what makes you so sure?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001238931978 Lynn Seguin

    I think it was pure opportunism rather than naivete; an attempt to create an anti-populist wave using the new media and the MSM;  an all out push to damage the CPC; generate enough fury for a public inquiry and overturn some, if not all election results.   

    It seems to have less traction now that the Liberals have fessed up to robocalls using a fake name and at some point, one could expect EC to come forward and clarify complaints versus the actions of LeadNow etal in generating faux complaints. 

    Along with libel lawsuits and the Ipsos Reid poll that indicates that they weren’t as successful as they thought and that they didn’t affect public opinion by stringing together several scandalettes with a view to incrementally whipping up public outrage.    

    So far this attempt to overthrow the government has been a failure as evidenced by the low turnout at occupy robocall demonstrations across the country.   So, they are simply running out of steam until the identity of Pierre Poutine is made public and some may indeed be wondering if he or she is possibly a liberal or an activist rather than a conservative.

    That the Ipos Reid poll indicates that 75% of Canadians want a public inquiry; I imagine that the question was “If there was vote supression or tampering in the last election; should a public inquiry be called?”  Most people would answer Yes to that question; but IF is the operative word.    However, MOST people were not recipients of robocalls and MOST people are fed up with the occupy/big union crowd and MOST people now including Quebecois; are not as enamoured of the NDP and the Liberals as the opposition would hope and the prospect of an NDP/Liberal coalition overthrowing the elected government without a platform or an election is probably more unpalatable to MOST people.  

    Once again, it’s a stark reminder to me of the lengths that the opposition will go in order to damage the government, obfuscate and seize power. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001238931978 Lynn Seguin

    I think it was pure opportunism rather than naivete; an attempt to create an anti-populist wave using the new media and the MSM;  an all out push to damage the CPC; generate enough fury for a public inquiry and overturn some, if not all election results.   

    It seems to have less traction now that the Liberals have fessed up to robocalls using a fake name and at some point, one could expect EC to come forward and clarify complaints versus the actions of LeadNow etal in generating faux complaints. 

    Along with libel lawsuits and the Ipsos Reid poll that indicates that they weren’t as successful as they thought and that they didn’t affect public opinion by stringing together several scandalettes with a view to incrementally whipping up public outrage.    

    So far this attempt to overthrow the government has been a failure as evidenced by the low turnout at occupy robocall demonstrations across the country.   So, they are simply running out of steam until the identity of Pierre Poutine is made public and some may indeed be wondering if he or she is possibly a liberal or an activist rather than a conservative.

    That the Ipos Reid poll indicates that 75% of Canadians want a public inquiry; I imagine that the question was “If there was vote supression or tampering in the last election; should a public inquiry be called?”  Most people would answer Yes to that question; but IF is the operative word.    However, MOST people were not recipients of robocalls and MOST people are fed up with the occupy/big union crowd and MOST people now including Quebecois; are not as enamoured of the NDP and the Liberals as the opposition would hope and the prospect of an NDP/Liberal coalition overthrowing the elected government without a platform or an election is probably more unpalatable to MOST people.  

    Once again, it’s a stark reminder to me of the lengths that the opposition will go in order to damage the government, obfuscate and seize power. 

  • Gabby in QC

    Who’s “they”? What “evidence” are you referring to?

    Unlike you, I’m willing to wait for the full Elections Canada investigation. At least EC has already whittled down the 30,000+ “complaints” that the MSM and the opposition was shouting about to at least half of that number, if not dramatically less.

    Read EC’s report issued right after the election (pages 42-43):
    http://www.elections.ca/res/rep/off/sta_2011/stat_report2011_e.pdf
    During the 41st general election, the Commissioner’s Office received:  1,003 communications or referrals that required individual responses  2,956 e-mails regarding the application of the Special Voting Rules at the University of Guelph that did not require individual responses  more than 700 e-mails about an alleged violation of the blackout period as a result of a radio interview that was broadcast on election day (however, there was no violation of the Canada Elections Act)  The Commissioner’s Office dealt with the majority of the 1,003 communications in a timely manner by verifying the complaint, providing the requested information, contacting the parties to correct the situation or educating the parties involved on the requirements of the Canada Elections Act. Most of these complaints concerned one of the following categories:  the legality of certain activities undertaken during the election  the absence of authorization statements in election advertising  election advertising that appeared to be paid for by the government or appeared to provide an advantage to incumbents  campaigning in certain locations, such as malls and apartment buildings  unsolicited telephone calls   automated telephone messages  signs placed without permission  crank calls  
    …..

    The Commissioner is looking into several complaints surrounding:  premature transmission of election results on polling day by major media  crank calls designed to discourage voting, discourage voting for a particular party, or incorrectly advise electors of changed polling locations  employers’ obligation to allow employees time to vote  …”

    several: “being more than two but fewer than many in number or kind” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/several

  • Gabby in QC

    No, dearest. I’ve moved on too. But if you keep bringing it up, I’ll remind you of what that call ACTUALLY said, not what has been reported as said.

    As for “pattern” — I prefer to judge each individual deed on its own merit. I’m able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour of  individuals, regardless of his/her political leaning.

  • Anonymous

     So far this attempt to overthrow the government…

    Uh, no. Nobody, outside of the Liberal/NDP equivalent of  the raving Tory partisan blogosphere, ever thought this was going to bring down this government. Really.

    Most of us just want clean and open government, period, no matter who’s driving.  While you lot still howl over ancient Liberal misdeeds, you apparently have zero concern over current CPC misdeeds. Or maybe it hasn’t occurred to you that anything dirty that you ignore now will be 10 times more dirty when it’s used in the next election, by all parties.

    Would you at least speak with clarity to Dear Leader that you don’t like the idea of dishonest or vote-suppressing phone campaigns from any quarter? Maybe, just maybe,  he’ll listen to you, and also to Preston Manning, and he’ll introduce legislation to curtail this antidemocratic activity, and neither you nor I will have to deal with the phone BS during the next campaign, nor the witch-hunts afterwards.

  • Anonymous

    Who’s “they”? What “evidence” are you referring to?

    The link you were dissing.  Having attention problems?

    Partisan or not, isn’t this evidence of CPC use of a US right-wing contractor?

    From MacLeans;

    The prime minister and his parliamentary secretary, Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro, claimed in the Commons that the Liberals were the only party that used American calling firms. “We’ve done some checking,” the PM said, and “we’ve only found that it was the Liberal Party that did source its phone calls from the United States.”

    But documents show 14 Conservative campaigns enlisted the telephone services of an Ohio company called Front Porch Strategies. During the election, the company made thousands of calls into each of those Canadian ridings from its headquarters in Columbus. In fact, Del Mastro’s own campaign used the American firm twice during his successful bid for re-election last year.

  • Gabby in QC

    “Having attention problems?”

    Yes, actually. I’m driven to distraction when I have to read unclear sentences, with ambiguous antecedents and all. Poor little me, with other languages swirling around in my little head, I may have missed your point … if you had one.

    Re: that use of US companies by both the Conservatives and the Liberals — and who knows, maybe even the NDP — you’ll be delighted to know that on another blog I made a point of criticizing whoever gave that wrong information (I assume a researcher) to both Del Mastro and the PM. Of course, you probably assume it’s the PM who dug up the information and decreed all members of his caucus use that talking point — your customary comeback, I anticipate.

  • Anonymous

    we know the Liberals and NDP – the original complainers – are more guilty of breaking election laws than the governing Tories.

    Pure  bullsh!t.  What happened to “let’s wait for proof”?

  • Anonymous

     you probably assume it’s the PM who dug up the information and decreed all members of his caucus use that talking point

    You’re very close. Or do you instead think that the men and women chosen to be cabinet ministers are incapable of forming  and following a deliberate defense?

  • Gabby in QC

    Ah, you did not disappoint. Same predictable snide comments. You must be a barrel of laughs at a dinner party.

  • Anonymous

    The CPC can do anything, you’ll defend it.

    Congratulations, you’re a full-fledged partisan now.

  • Gabby in QC

    Thank you! Hey, you noticed! I’ve always been partisan — not that there’s anything wrong with it! But you? Completely objective & impartial, right?

  • Anonymous

     I don’t defend misbehaviour.

  • Brett

     Uhhh Frank already copped to it.  Furthermore, he is caught being less than truthful.

     http://bcblue.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/liberal-mp-caught-lying-about-election-canada-not-calling-robocalls-ads/

  • Brett

     ”Making stuff up? The Leadnow petition was a straight-ahead petition.”

    It was the media led by the CBC that reported those 31,000 “contacts” (which happened to be the same number as what Lead Now had up at the time) as complaints.  So you acknowledge that the number of complaints was fabricated?  And while we’re at it, perhaps you could get your dear leader to fess up to which ridings benefited from the proceeds of adscam and that sir was proven by to Gomery Inquiry.   As for proof of what you are asserting… not so much.

  • Anonymous

     Elections Canada reported “31,000″… somethings, without differentiating between ‘contacts’ and ‘complaints’. While I agree the media was disingenuous in their handling of the number… they didn’t falsify or fabricate (like the CPC excuses last week in the House).

    Gomery – ah what a memory you have. What has that to do with NOW, other than perhaps reminding me that Martin had the balls to call an inquiry, and Harper doesn’t?

  • Anonymous

     This is “more guilty” how?

  • Brett

    No, EC made it clear that there wee 31,000 “contacts” while the media called them complaints but I didn’t say that the media fabricated the story, they were only going by the Liberal talking points as per usual.  As fore Gomery, I was trying to show you the difference between proof and no proof.  Furthermore, the Prime Minister has already stated in the house that if someone did wrong they should pay the price.  And what so-called excuses did the Government fabricate?  Seems to me that Frank copped to it.  Not only that, hew failed to declare them as a campaign expense, failed to name the party sponsoring it and the caller used a “fabricated” name; all of which are illegal.  Perhaps you can get your leader to force Frank to resign.  Oh wait, he already said he was OK with it.

  • Brett
  • Brett
  • Anonymous

     A scriptreader like you shouldn’t really be bringing up talking points.

    btw, you’ve apparently mistaken me for a Liberal. Or an NDP supporter. wrong to both. If the Liberal f’ed up that pro-choice call in Guelph, didn’t account for it etc etc… then they get what’s coming too.

    A wee note about that particular call – it wasn’t meant to suppress voting, or to misdirect a voter. Ponder that a little.

  • Brett

     A script reader?  Now you’re resorting to name calling?

    BTW, you’ve mistaken me for a member of any party.  I’m just a political
    junkie, though it is safe to say that it will be a cold day in hell
    before I vote for anyone left of center.

    “btw, you’ve apparently mistaken me for a Liberal. Or an NDP supporter. wrong to both. ”

    Then you must be a Green, because you are twisting yourself inside out trying to pin this on the Tories. 

    “A wee note about that particular call – it wasn’t meant to suppress voting, or to misdirect a voter. Ponder that a little.”

    You might want be careful trying to suck and blow at the same time.  You might end up choking.  Totally misrepresenting the other candidate was meant to at the very least mislead and at the very worst “suppress” the Tory vote.

    Until there is concrete proof that the Tories did anything  (just because you say it doesn’t make it so) then there’s nothing to ponder except what I am going to have or dinner tonight. 

    You might want to consider that given EC knows who Pierre Poutine is, it is not likely a Tory because if it were every media outlet and every Lib/Dipper would be shouting it out from every roof top in the country by now. 

    That said, if you are truly not a Liberal then I  apologize.  I wouldn’t want to be called on either.

  • Anonymous

     I apologize for calling you a scriptreader.  Some of your crazy is truly original.

  • Brett

    I can tell by your continued name calling that you are losing the argument.

  • Anonymous

     Your evidence – clearly irrefutable.  Your logic – inescapable. I was a fool for trying. 

  • Brett

     You didn’t actually present a valid argument, you just parroted the CBC storyline wishing it were true.

  • Anonymous

    and how about the fact, that LeadNow is directly funded by the Tides Foundation in the US, funded by a left wing billionaire named George Soros! And that yesterday that 31,000 of those so-called form letters were found to be bogus contacts by Elections Canada?!!!

    And that now they’ve also discovered that the robocalls were all coming out of Guelph?  And that the ridings that they’ve shown up in are now shown to be ridings where the Liberals came in with whopping leads?!! 

    I guess you’ve got selective thinking, typical of the left!!  You little boys and girls on the left just can’t stand the fact that the Conservatives won a majority, just as the Ottawa Press Gang(or Party as they are known) are all on the left from the mainstream media!).

    BTW, you on the left have no problem taking your marching orders from Americans—- the Tides Foundation for exampe. Taking millions of dollars to kill jobs in our oil sands. And wait–its coming——-ties with not just militant environmentalists but with the Saudis!
    Yep, march to the Americans drum as long as it suits you, eh?